Will Bilingualism Decrease in Latino Households in the U.S.

By Sheryl Estrada


Photo by Shutterstock

According to a Pew Research Center report published May 12, “English Proficiency on the Rise Among Latinos, ” there’s a rise in the number of Latinos speaking proficient English and a decrease in Latinos speaking Spanish at home. This change is due to the fact that migration to the U.S. from Latin America has slowed.

“This is a long-term trend,” Jens Manuel Krogstad told DiversityInc. Krogstad, a writer and editor at Pew, is an author of the report.

Krogstad offered the following statistics:

19802003
U.S.-born Latinos speaking English at home67%60%
U.S.-born Latinos proficient in English72%89%

“It’s interesting to note that in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, there was agreatemphasis on speaking English amongLatinos in the U.S.,” Krogstad said.

The report shows that a record 33.2 million Latinos in the U.S. speak English proficiently, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

In 2013, this group made up 68 percent of all Latinos ages 5 and older, up from 59 percent in 2000.

Since 2000, the growth in population of Latinos in the U.S. has been steered primarily by U.S. births, rather than the arrival of new immigrants.And the report indicates Latino immigrants withhigher levels of education have greater English proficiency.

The authors write:

Fully 89 percent of U.S.-born Latinos spoke English proficiently in 2013, up from 72 percent in 1980. This gain is due in part to the growing share of U.S.-born Latinos who live in households where only English is spoken.

As the percentage of Latinos who speak proficient English increases, and the percentage of Latinos speaking Spanish at home decreases, will bilingualism become less prevalent

According to Krogstad, although it remains to be seen “how common it will be for Latinos in the U.S.to use bothEnglish and Spanish,” Latinos do value the ability to speak Spanish.

He said that more than half of Latino adults whoare English speakers can also speak Spanish very well.

“About36 million of Latinos speak Spanish at hometoday more than two-thirds of all Latinos,” he said. “Nearly all Latinos, 95 percent, say it is important that future generations of Latinos in the U.S. be able to speak Spanish.”

However, the rise of U.S.-born Latinos speaking English has caught the attention of the media industry. For example, in 2013, Univision launched Fusion, the first 24-hour cable news channel geared toward a growing audience of English-speaking Latinos.

“U.S.-born Latinos are driving this language trend, and they are growing more quickly in number than immigrant Latinos,” Krogstad said. “TheseareLatinos growing up in the U.S.whowill be eligible to vote when they turn in 18,andwillmake up agrowingshareofthe labor force andthe nation’s classrooms.”

As the debate between political parties on establishing effective immigration reform continues, the effects on language, and even the fact that the mental health of thousands of Latino youth born in the U.S. whose parents are undocumented immigrants is being compromised, will continue to be shown.

Latest News

asian-american bias

New Study Reveals That 80% of Asian Americans Feel Regularly Discriminated Against

Even in the midst of AAPI Heritage Month, a new study reveals that 8 in 10 Asian Americans believe they are regularly discriminated against in the United States. NPR’s Dustin Jones has reported that in a recent survey commissioned by the new nonprofit, Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change…

settlement

4 Maryland HBCUs Awarded $577 Million Settlement in State Discrimination Case

Following a 15-year court battle, the state of Maryland has reached a settlement in a case alleging that it had discriminated against four historically Black universities and colleges, segregating and making it harder for them to compete with other nearby predominately white schools.  Bryn Stole of the Baltimore Sun has…

Kerby Jean-Raymond

First Black American Designer to Show Collection at Paris Couture Week 

When Kerby Jean-Raymond’s looks walk the fashion runway this July at Paris Couture Week, the designer will be making history, becoming the first-ever Black American designer to present a collection at the acclaimed event — often described at the absolute pinnacle of global high fashion. Kristen Rogers of CNN has…

Southern Company Gas’ Kim Greene in Conversation With the Coca-Cola Company’s Lisa Chang for AAPI Heritage Month

Originally published on LinkedIn.com. Southern Company ranked No. 20 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Southern Company Gas CEO Kim Greene sat down with Lisa Chang, the Global Chief People Officer for The Coca-Cola Company for the latest…